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Millennials will soon make up the majority of workers so organisations must reassess their infrastructure and processes to attract and retain the best talent.
It is estimated that, by 2025, 75 per cent of the workforce will be classified as millennials. That’s a pretty big percentage, which signifies a group of people who will enter the workplace with their own unique set of requirements if they are to remain the happy, loyal, engaged and productive employees that businesses will want and need them to be.
In search of a definition
But what are these requirements? Actually, let’s first address the definition of millennial. While there isn’t one single agreed-upon definition, the general consensus is that millennials were born between 1977 and 2000. There are several ranges offered – Newsweek believes it to be 1977 to 1994, while Time opts for 1980 to 2000. Pew Research, meanwhile, says millennials are those aged 18 to 34 in 2015. In any event, the main difficulty with such a wide date range is that those at opposite ends will have vastly different experiences and expectations.
What millennials want
For what it’s worth, I find myself at the top end of the millennial range, and, to be honest, I’m still amazed that a laptop or tablet provides me with all I need to work, watch TV or keep in touch with family and friends around the world. So, while I remember a time when that wasn’t possible, for younger millennials, that kind of technology is part of everyday life. They’ve grown up with it at home and expect it in the workplace.
Tech is so embedded in their lives, workplaces that don’t demonstrate a strong commitment to automating processes and embracing the enhanced productivity and mobility afforded by lightweight devices and cloud storage will be seen as archaic and therefore far less attractive.
Top of the class
According to this Fortune list, those companies that are proving attractive to millennials are perhaps not the ones that immediately spring to mind. The top-ten is a mix of IT, construction and real estate, and financial services companies; Google is only 25th on the list, Twitter 31st and salesforce.com 49th.
What distinguishes companies at the top of this list is their commitment to providing a workplace that meets millennials’ desires and demands. These include flexible working conditions, such as the ability to work remotely and at hours that are less fixed. As long as the work gets done on time and to a high standard, why force the worker to be in the office?
Ultimately, it’s a work-life balance that millennials want above all else. Technology is the great enabler of all this, allowing people to work, communicate and collaborate from anywhere; it’s what millennials expect and, increasingly, what they will demand of workplaces.